Alter Eco Dark Quinoa Chocolate

I found this bar at our local organic grocery store too.

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Dark chocolate with crunchy quinoa sounded delicious, and the back label intrigued me too.

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So this bar was from Ecuador, and it was helping the farmers have a sustainable, renewable crop. In fact, the inside of the label had even more information.

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Wow, there is a lot of good that goes along with this bar: reducing drug trafficking, maintaining the microclimate of the area, reducing CO2 emissions. Well, I am glad I bought this bar. And it was pretty good too. It had bloomed a little, indicating that it had been improperly stored, but it was still yummy with a rich chocolate flavor, and the quinoa was nice and crunchy. It was like a fancy Nestle Crunch bar.

I think I have had this bar before, when it was called Dark Chocolate Quinoa Midnight Crunch. Same company, same chocolate, but different label and less chocolate overall. Oh well, it was for a good cause.

Madécasse 80% Dark Chocolate

I found this dark chocolate bar at my local organic grocery store last weekend.

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I was intrigued by the “bean to bar” phrase, so I read about this company, Madécasse. It is run by ex-Peace Corps volunteers who worked in Madagascar and wanted to help the farmers there benefit from their cacao harvest. The farmers were growing cacao and shipping it off of the island, without ever seeing what it would become. In fact, many of those farmers had never tasted chocolate. Madécasse helped them develop their farms and buy equipment to harvest, ferment and produce chocolate. The result is COCOMA, the Cocoa Company of Madagascar.

And let me say that this chocolate was delicious. It has that single origin “brightness” that I have talked about before, plus it has an additional berry-like flavor combined with a sour, almost astringent, aftertaste. I know that doesn’t sound good, but it really tastes great. Everyone liked it and wanted a second piece, and I want to try more of the chocolate in this line. It tastes good and is doing good for its farmers. You can’t ask for more than that.

Ghirardelli Mango Sunset

My co-worker Steve W. brought this new Ghirardelli bar into the office for us to try.

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Just unwrapping this bar released an intense mango scent into the room. I was surprised at how strong it was! Then I broke the bar into pieces and we all tried some.

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There were no fruit pieces in this bar, just flavor. It was a strong mix of mango and peach flavors, and they overwhelmed the chocolate. There was no indication on the package of the cacao percent of the bar, but I would guess it was 40% or so. It was good, but overall the bar was too fruity.

Lindt Lemon

My co-worker Brian M. contributed this Lindt bar to our daily chocolate eating meeting.

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Lemon, you say? I have never had a simple lemon and chocolate bar before, and certainly never a Lindt one. And this one was delicious! The lemon bits were dried and very tasty, and according to the ingredients there were some apple and pineapple bits mixed in there too, along with some almond silvers. You could see the bits embedded in the chocolate.

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Like I said, this bar was delicious, but the lemon flavor did overpower the chocolate taste. The bar was only 47% cacao, so maybe if they made a darker one, the flavors would be more in balance.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme

My co-worker Roby A. brought this bar in for our afternoon chocolate time. After all of the disparaging remarks I make about it, I think he wanted to see me eat white chocolate.

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The bar was a large thin slab of white chocolate, embedded with bits of broken Oreo-like cookies. I broke it up into lots of pieces for us to try.

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My co-workers liked it, saying it tasted like frosting and cookies. I think it tasted like chopped Oreos mixed with melted crayons and candles and then sweetened with godawful amounts of sugar.

Anyway, here’s your white chocolate, so eat it.

Donkey Balls

My friend Tiff C. let me try some of her Donkey Balls, a gift from a friend who had gone to Hawaii.

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A Donkey Ball is an enormous ball of chocolate with a whole macadamia nut at the center (not just a piece of macadamia, like in a macadamia Hershey kiss). It was about the size of a quarter, and it was pretty good milk chocolate too. A little too salty (insert joke about salty balls here), but not bad for milk chocolate. Way better than Hershey milk chocolate.

The back of the bag told the story of Donkey Balls.

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I am not sure what the “tale of two balls” is referencing, but you can see the Donkey Balls here. You can see how big they are, too! OK, insert joke about big balls here as well. Go ahead, get it out of your system.  🙂